Aziz Senni

Aziz Senni

FRANCE

Chairman of Business Angels des Cités (BAC).

Aziz Senni profile image

Aziz Senni, an advocate for the economic development of inner cities.

Europe

Aziz Senni grew up in the inner-city area of Val-Fourré in Mantes-la-Jolie, Yvelines, France (in geographical terms, these areas are in the suburbs of large cities, the French "banlieues"). Eldest son of a working class family of six children, he passes his Baccalaureate in Economics in 1994. In 1997, he obtains a BTS (2-year advanced vocational diploma) in Transportation.

Three years later, inspired by the system of bush taxi, he creates Alliance Transportation et Accompagnement ATA (www.atafrance.com), his first company of collective taxis for corporations and individuals. To develop ATA, he needs € 80,000. He approaches all the public and para-public organisations imaginable and succeeds in collecting the funds, mainly through participation in entrepreneurship competitions. "Faster than a bus and cheaper than a taxi" is the slogan of his small company, which makes nearly € 3 million in turnover in 2009 and employs about fifty people in the Paris region. The success is such that Aziz decides to spread his concept through a network of franchises: 13 are created… Aziz is only 30.

In 2002 he creates what is now called the National Association of Young Entrepreneurs (IYCF), a network of nearly 600 entrepreneurs whose goal is to encourage, assist and support entrepreneurs from impoverished inner-city areas.

In 2005 he publishes his first book L'ascenseur social est en panne, j'ai pris l'escalier (The social elevator is broken, I took the stairs) with a foreword by his mentor, Claude Bébéar, founder of AXA insurances. The copyrights are donated to middle-school children of Val-Fourré as merit scholarships.

In 2007 he launches BAC, Business Angels des Cités (WWW.CSIS-CITIES-BAC.FR), France's first venture capital fund for inner-city economic development. He succeeds in raising first 5 then 20 million euros from 80 eminent French business leaders, including E. Rothschild, M. Pébereau, C. Bébéar, P. Sayer, D. Oger, M. Bouygues and many others.

In 2008, he joins LA MANU, an association founded by Julie Coudry, whose goal is to bridge connections between students and the business world. The same year, he joins Humanity in Action, an NGO active in the field of social inclusion and citizen action in Europe and the United-States.

He receives the Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award by INSEAD in 2009 and the prize of Ethics and Governance in the SME category from former French Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin in 2010.